One of the most difficult things for any performance manufacturer to do is to get their engine performance products past some of the toughest certification standards in the country: the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The process is costly, and that cost must be absorbed into each and every application, but JBA Exhaust has done just that with their Cat4ward shorty headers.
Getting these late model headers to pass means more than just creating a header and submitting for the Executive Order (EO), in order to get that EO number, there are certain rules and conditions that must be met. For starters, the factory catalytic converter cannot be moved – there is a zero tolerance on that. Also, any O2 sensors or air injection fittings must be present as well, and lastly, the headers need to be easy to install and able to clear factory steering shafts and other underhood components.
Our goal is to supply the performance aftermarket with as many late model CARB certified as possible. -Don Lindfors
With all of these rules and the cost of certification, some may wonder why go through all the effort, but the truth is that the Cat4ward headers are more cost effective to replace than many factory manifolds, and they also increase power and performance.
In addition to their shorty headers, JBA also provides the performance aftermarket with long tube headers, often used for racing and are not considered legal on polution controlled motor vehicles. These headers have a place, and are primarily for vehicles that are out on the track. The long tube headers are for performance and have applications from Z06 Corvettes to Mustangs, and include some surprising applications – one of which is the Nissan Titan V8.
We asked about their long tube headers, and the application of a 4-2-1 header vs. a Tri-Y, using words like “equal length” since that seems to be a common request. Greg Raymond said, “Equal length is a buzzword that gets used a lot, there’s a misnomer to it.” What he tells us is that often times it’s not the easiest thing to do to get equal length headers, sometimes the amount of severity of a bend in a pipe can slow down the exhaust flow more than a shorter tube with not as many bends.
New for this year for JBA is their 304 series polished stainless steel long tube racing headers. These headers have much more time put into them than their other headers, including the ceramic coated long tube headers. Raymond says, “We put more effort into these headers to remove any marks or imperfections created during the build process. We polish out any marks in the tubes, and the tubes are all mandrel bent, without any compressions in the bends.”
Inside their headers is also something that they have patented: the fire cone collector, a small triangular piece that is welded inside the collector to help scavenge the exhaust gases. For their regular headers, the fire cone is a two piece cone welded to the center of the collector, however, for the 304 series headers the cone is constructed with four pieces of steel and all internal welds are cleaned up and smoothed out to provide the best flow possible.
Headers are available in raw, black, ceramic coated and the polished stainless 304 series. Raymond said they have seen roughly ten horsepower improvements with their shorty headers, and as much as 20-25 horsepower increases with their long tube headers.
Pertronix is a leader for performance headers with their JBA headers for mostly late model car and truck, Dougs Headers for traditional musclecars and engine swaps, Patriot brand for street rods and block hugger headers. Their Dougs and Patriot headers are more value driven and use a 5/16-inch flange, built with mild steel, while JBA headers have a thicker 3/8-inch flange and are built with 409 series or 304 series stainless steel.
It’s easy to see that Pertronix has you covered for just about any header application you will need, and you can find them all at the Pertronix website.